DANAKIL DEPRESSION, ETHIOPIA
The Danakil Depression near Dallol, Ethiopia, is an alien landscape on Earth. At 100 metres below sea level, the cratered ground barely contains the volcanic activity beneath it, spitting out hot water that dissolves salt and other minerals. It’s stiflingly hot and dry – approaching 50°C some days – and the ejected water quickly evaporates, leaving behind vibrant-coloured deposits. Sulphurous yellows mingle with iron-rich browns and turquoise tints of copper in boiling pools. It’s no place for hard physical labour, but that hasn’t deterred the hundreds of workers – Afar people – who come here with axes to cut the salt into slabs, known as ‘tiles’, for $5 a day. Although trucks are now allowed in to transport the tiles, the Afar people are wary of the encroachment of modern technology, which could devalue the products of their traditional trade.
DEAD SEA, ISRAEL/JORDAN
The Dead Sea is a health tourism hotspot for those who believe in the medicinal benefits of a natural salt bath. The water here is about 10 times saltier than open seawater, partly because the salt has nowhere else to go – this ‘sea’ is actually a saltwater lake trapped in the Jordan Rift Valley. And with water levels dropping by more than one metre per year, it’s getting even saltier.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The Women In History We Don't Talk About
Beyond the exceptional talents of Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin and Ada Lovelace, it’d be easy to think that women didn’t used to participate in science. But as science historians Leila McNeill and Anna Reser reveal to Sara Rigby, women have contributed to our understanding of the world, stretching all the way back to antiquity
Prince Harry And Meghan Markle, Flying The Royal Nest
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure from the royal family is the latest in a string of shock exits from the monarchy dating back centuries. TRACY BORMAN looks to the past to consider how one can leave “the Firm” successfully – and the difficulties of life as a royal exile
Time To Shine
A few years ago, scientists believed only a tiny band of creatures could emit light. But a string of new discoveries has illuminated a wider world of glow-in-the-dark life forms
For Gut's Sake
“Eating either type of kimchi led to a reduction in weight and waist size”
Scientific evidence for using psychedelics to treat mental health problems has been mounting for the last decade – but researchers and patients alike have been waiting for a breakthrough. Now, scientists are poised to publish a gold-standard, double-blind randomised control trial, pitting antidepressants against psilocybin, the key ingredient in magic mushrooms. Could this be the study that brings psychedelics to the NHS?
The Bat Next Door
Madagascar’s bats are helping to fight insect infestations in the country’s rice fields – so, can the locals learn to love their new neighbours?
Last Of The Jungle Rhino
Concealed within Java’s dense tropical forest, the world’s rarest rhino remains a mystery to most. With only a few dozen left, the race is on to learn more about these seldom seen creatures.
Hitler And Stalin's Utopian Dreams
Laurence Rees argues that, despite their many differences, the leaders of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were united by a common passion: to create their own warped version of a paradise on Earth
Could You Cope Without Natural Light For 40 Days?
The Deep Time project saw 15 volunteers sign up to spend over month in a cave beneath the Pyrenees with no access to natural light or clocks. Most of them want to go back…
A Scientist's Guide To Life How To Get The Best From Nature
Lockdown may limit the time we can spend outdoors, but environmental psychologist Alex Smalley explains how you can get the benefits of being in nature, even if you’re stuck inside
McLaren GT – Sideways in Sonoma
An epic excursion through California’s other wine country in the gentlemanly McLaren GT
David Neeleman Has No Fear Of Flying
The founder of JetBlue has overcome some crazy setbacks on his way to becoming the most successful serial airline entrepreneur in history. So why would he let a global pandemic get in the way of launching his latest carrier?
Unending Pandemic. Global Anxiety. Travel Restrictions. Perfect Time To Start An Airline!
David Neeleman, airline savant (think Jetblue) and perpetual optimist, is at it again with a new budget carrier called Breeze
ADVENTURE BLACK BOOK
How do you feel most alive? Whether your adrenaline rushes come from death-defying feats, unusual journeys, or one-of-a-kind meals, these fifty-one Oklahoma spots will have you living life to its fullest all year long.
Snagged anchors and empty gas bottles
Mishaps on a mid-Med adventure
ROOSEVELT DAM AGATE: A Gem Loaded with History
The Roosevelt Dam agate is a very limited-occurrence lapidary material, uncovered during the excavation of the Theodore Roosevelt Dam in Arizona, hence the obvious name of Roosevelt Dam agate.
RED STATE REBELLION
Can Utah—of all places—show voters how to seize power from conservative supermajorities?
CROSSROADS OF THE WEST
With the opening its new airport, Salt Lake City maintains its standing as one of America’s key transportation links
TWEET ON SPARE CHANGE GENERATES BIG MONEY FOR VIRUS AID
Andy Larsen is a sports writer, but with so many games scratched during the pandemic he has spent a lot of time digging into coronavirus data and its sobering implications.